IN THE NAME OF ALLAH! 139
with the money-changers. An angry mob attacked him, and one of his followers was slain in trying to protect him.
The prophet's cross can only be carried by one who believes all he has prophesied, down to the last letter of the last word.
The authorities, finding they could not muzzle this outspoken man, tried to bribe him with wealth and position. Muhammed's reply was to warn them more strongly still of the coming wrath of Allah.
Thenceforth he was openly persecuted and he advised a number of his followers to seek refuge in Abyssinia, which they did. The vengeance of the Meccan authorities pursued them even there, and the Black Emperor was asked to deliver up the fugitives. Instead of complying, he called for their spokesman, one Jafar, and asked: "What is this religion by reason of which you have separated from your people?"
And Jafar told how they had been formerly leading a semi-savage life, worshipping idols, eating carrion, and oppressing the weak. Then came Muhammed as the Prophet of Allah., bidding them be truly spiritual, devoted towards the One alone, truthful, charitable and moral. He ended by reciting some passages from \h& Quran, which caused the Emperor to remark: "Verily this, and that which Moses brought, arise from one lamp. Go! for, by God, I will not suffer them to get at you. Go to thy dwellings and live and worship in thine own way, and none shall interfere with you."
Meanwhile, the persecution of Muslims in Arabia grew worse. When some of his persecutors asked Muhammed for a miracle to prove his apostleship, he lifted his gaze to the sky and replied:
"God has not sent me to work wonders. He has sent me to you. I am only the bringer of Allah's message to mankind."
It was during this bitter time that Muhammed reported an extraordinary experience which had come to him in the night. He had been taken out of the body in spirit by the angel Gabriel, and had met the spirits of the great Prophets of old—Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others—in the invisible world of the angels. He had, also, been shown how the destiny of the world is written down.
Not long after, this experience was followed by the rapid spread of Muhammed's doctrines, with an inevitable increase in persecution as its result. Ana just before a number of men had decided to slay the Prophet, the latter was inspired to leave